Two Poems

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by Bibhu Padhi (August 2018)


Staffa, Fingal’s Cave, William Turner, 1832

 

Caves
 

The meditative caves wherein

the ancient rishis offered their prayers

 

in the dark, are like the nights.

We close our eyes.

 

Whose breath comes in

and goes out, like life?

 

In the midst of speechlessness,

I invite my ancestors.

 

They are here, almost

touching me, their

 

light breath falls on my

brown skin, digs out histories.

 

The caves are here, will

always be there.

 

Deep under the sea water,

far from the diver’s mask.

 

Whose wandering voice

takes hold of me wherever I am?

 

Who plays his dark games

far inside the body’s mysteries?


Boat with Sail, Nikolaos Lytras, 1923

 

Boatman

 

Everyone who moves about

this place, will see you

standing on your boat, waiting

 

for your invisible passengers.

What do you do when

you are lonely, who

 

do you seek on this

expansive sea of tiger grass

and thick bushes?

 

I come here every day, watch

you watching the birds,

like an efficient bird-watcher.

 

What else do you do to keep

yourself less lonely, just

a little better than yourself?

 

Today you are not here:

I heard that someone

stole your boat

 

even as you were on it,

with the long rod that would have

guided you to the invisible shore.

 
____________________________

Bibhu Padhi has published eleven books of poetry. His poems have appeared in distinguished magazines throughout the English-speaking world. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.

 

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